Go to your neighborhood grocery store and you’ll likely find any fruit or vegetable you could dream of — no matter the season. But, did you know that eating seasonally matters? And, it may actually benefit your health to do so.
Since seasonal produce is harvested at its peak, it maintains the highest nutrient content. And if you’re buying local, you’ll also be reducing your pesticide and preservative consumption — chemicals that have been linked to having adverse effects on humans. Plus, eating local can reduce your carbon footprint and help sustain your local food economy.
So what produce should you keep an eye out for this season? Some local produce at peak season include:
- Berries — Excellent sources of vitamin C and magnesium.
- Cherries — Full of antioxidants, vitamin C, K and A.
- Rhubarb — A root vegetable full of fiber and magnesium.
- Artichokes — Great source of fiber, potassium and iron.
- Asparagus — Full of vitamin K and folate.
- Avocados — Filled with healthy fat.
- Garlic — Chocked full of vitamin B-6, selenium and magnesium.
- Cauliflower — Packed with calcium, potassium and vitamin C.
- Chard — An excellent source of magnesium, iron, fiber and vitamin K.
- Collard greens — Full of vitamin B-6, vitamin K, A, C and iron.
- Kale — A powerhouse vegetable filled with potassium, copper, vitamin A, K and B-6.
- Peas — Filling and high in fiber.
Not only can buying local produce benefit your community, but shopping at local farmer’s markets is also a great way to get outside and enjoy an extra dose of vitamin D. This spring, buy local and eat seasonal; look for fresh produce to fill your life and your plate with colorful, nutrient-dense foods. Visit the County of Santa Clara Division of Agriculture site for a list of local Farmers’ Markets in your area.
This article first appeared in the May 2021 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.